On Wednesday, Feb. 26, a Kansas Senate committee approved Substitute for Senate Bill 298 (SB 298)- legislation that would phase out the mortgage registration tax over a period of five years, beginning onJan. 1, 2015.
As you will recall, KCRAR’s position on SB 298 was that it was not in support of the bill as written, which provided for an outright elimination of the Mortgage Registration Fee. KCRAR has, however, stated that it could support a bill that provides for a multi-year phase out, which this substitution bill now includes.
According to the Kansas Association of REALTORS®, Substitute for Senate Bill 298 “will reduce the overall tax burden on Kansas property owners while mitigating the loss of revenue for counties and preserving full funding for the Heritage Trust Fund.”
This being said, KCRAR continues to caution that while this legislation may mitigate the loss of revenue for some counties, Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties will suffer a drastic shortfall of revenue with the eventual elimination of the Mortgage Registration Fee. Our concern is where these counties will look to make up this lost revenue. KCRAR does not support increasing the county government’s reliance on property taxes to make up this revenue, or shifting an additional tax burden to residents.
We ask members to read the bill and information here, as well as news reports covering this bill (See “Senate committee retools bill to phase out mortgage registration tax” and “Eilert: Mortgage fee phase-out would cost JoCo millions”), to make your own educated decision as to whether to respond to the Call for Action in support of the amended SB 298.